How often can you say you have walked away from a funeral parlour feeling a sense of pride and satisfaction. And the feeling was mutual?
I had this experience at White Lady Funerals in Clayfield when I dropped off a number of hand bags filled with female personal products. White Lady is one of many volunteer business drop-off points for #itsinthebag, part of a Christmas campaign by www.sharethedignity.com.au.
Share The Dignity realised that at Christmas time children’s needs were catered for by volunteer groups however not for the women of the children. The women who make the sacrifice and escape a domestic violence environment to protect themselves and their children from potential injury or death.
The focus by Share The Dignity has been on homeless Australian women and women in domestic violence shelters. For these women it is a matter of survival, and with their traumatic experiences there is an unbelievable sacrifice of indignity. Needless to say attention to personal hygiene is not always possible.
The concept has been to ask Australians to donate a handbag they no longer use and fill it with items that would make a woman feel special. The response to the campaign has been an eye opener.
Di Collis, from White Lady Funerals , who for obvious reasons is used to dealing with people from heart break, said it has been overwhelming to witness the generosity of women.
“It is about women wanting to help other women,” said Di.
“Within two days the team have taken away 245 bags and estimate there are at least another 200-plus to come, with a promised delivery of 70 from one organisation and 40 from Virgin Blue. A few days later there were bags down both walls in their office and four more boxes were yet to be unloaded.
“White Lady Funerals” mission statement is Care. That is Calibration, Accountability, Responsiveness, Empathy. I do not think you could have got a better synergy. Ask a woman to help another woman and she will respond every time”.
Many of the bags were brand new, with the tags on, and some bags included cash in cards.
I chatted to a woman dropping off bags and, like myself, she had included a handwritten Christmas card in each handbag to add that personal touch. We wanted to let the women know there are people around them who care.
Not only did I walk away feeling as though I have contributed to a most worthy cause, I also came away with a brochure on how to pay for one’s own funeral in advance. You would have to agree it was a rewarding visit to the funeral parlour.